6 Ways to Avoid Septic System Problems

Shannon Lee

If you have a very old house, there's a good chance it comes with a very old septic system. The septic systems attached to many old houses have not been serviced in a very long time, and that can lead to serious problems. Septic system failure can become a major health issue, as well as an unexpected expense that drains your bank account. Avoid the hassle and the mess by being proactive!

6 Tips for Keeping Your Septic System Up to Par

Before you give up on that old house septic system, give these tips a try:

  1. Get it inspected. Don't rely on the previous homeowner's estimates concerning the last time the septic system was pumped or serviced. Although they might be absolutely right, given the cost you can face if the septic system does fail, it's better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Have it pumped. If the system hasn't been pumped in a while, get it done! The cost of the pumping depends on the size of your tank and how much waste has accumulated inside it. Once the septic system is pumped, you have a much better idea of when the next service should be.
  3. Consider the size. If your old house has been improved with additions, such as an extra bedroom, your septic system might need to be upgraded as well.
  4. Take care with waste. Send only biodegradable items into your septic tank. Avoid flushing diapers, feminine products, paper towels, cat litter, cigarette butts, and anything else that might clog up the pipes. Never pour grease down the drain, and always avoid pouring toxic chemicals into your septic system. This includes paint thinners, varnishes, and oils of any kind.
  5. Watch where you dig! Don't dig near the septic system, and never plant trees or deep-rooted shrubs in the area. Over time, those roots can find their way into your pipes, and possibly even breach your septic tank, leading to a serious contamination of groundwater.
  6. Don't use chemicals for clogged pipes. Although it might be tempting to use chemical solutions to flush out a clogged toilet or pipe, keep in mind that those toxins end up in your septic tank. Use a snake to flush out the pipes, or call in a plumber to handle it.

A thorough inspection of your septic system can prevent a major failure and keep more money in your pocket. If you have an old house, be safe rather than sorry, and call out the experts to look over your septic system before you face expensive trouble.



About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

Search Improvement Project